Obama Wants a New Bill of Rights?
In introducing Barack Obama, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur called for a second Bill of Rights, echoing Professor Cass Sunstein’s book resurrecting FDR’s promise of same: a job, health care, homes, an education, and a fair playing field for business and farmers, if not quite echoing the demagoguery of Huey Long. These rights would be things that government must do for you, regardless of whether society can afford to do it.
First, I think we ought to cut back on what government can do to you:
1. A homeowner should have a right not to have his home taken by eminent domain for the purpose of reselling it to private interests (overturning the Kelo decision).
2. A citizen should have a right to cast a vote undiluted by fraudulent votes cast by ineligible voters, the dead, and those whose votes have been stolen by campaign workers; and voting equipment should produce voter verified auditable results.
3. A citizen should have a right to use deadly force against an intruder without retreating into a corner of his home (the castle doctrine).
4. A citizen should have a right to own a handgun (let’s enshrine the Heller decision in the Constitution in case the Supreme Court should get confused later and want to “recede” from it). Such right shall not be abridged while the citizen is in or about his or her dwelling, regardless of disaster or civil strife.
5. A citizen should have a right to habeus corpus except in a time of war declared on this nation or by this nation with respect to a hostile nation, or during times of rebellion. Nebulous concepts like the “War on Drugs” and the “War on Terror” don’t count.
6. A citizen should have a right to buy and use whatever food, supplement or herb he wants for whatever ailment he wants to treat or prevent by using it, and the right to receive information about the supplement that isn’t patently false.
7. A citizen should have a right to make, buy, prepare, sell, ingest, smoke, inject or otherwise consume any substance that isn’t a frank poison, provided information regarding the risks of same is adequately disclosed on the packaging, and subject to reasonable taxes thereon to be used solely to ameliorate any societal harm done by such product. In addition, laws regarding alcohol shall not be applied to restrict the distillation or use of alcohol as a motor fuel (undoing the lingering damage done by Standard Oil in supporting Prohibition)
8. A citizen should have the right to protest peacefully at a time, place and manner that is likely to be seen and heard by the objects of his or her protests rather than being restricted to a pen kept from their view.
9. A citizen should have a right to be secure from having valuable property seized from his or her home on mere suspicion that the property might have some connection to illegal activity.
10. A citizen should be free from laws that enhance penalties at a prosecutor’s discretion because of the accused’s attitudes toward those different from himself. Such “hate crime” laws are inevitably unequally applied and judges and juries are already equipped with sentencing guidelines that can account for the criminal’s motivation.
11. The people should have the right to a Congress that represents their interests over corporate and special interests. A permanent national Grand Jury (made up of twelve ordinary citizens drawn four at a time for three year terms on an annual basis from each of the states in rotation) should be empowered to commission analyses of the effects of existing legislation and given legal standing to petition the Supreme Court to overturn any laws they find represent an unreasonable detriment to the nation as a whole vis-a-vis the benefits they provide to one or more special interests.
12. The people’s right, through Congress, to control the creation of money should be repossessed from the private, unconstitutionally-empowered and interest-conflicted aggregate of banks known as the Federal Reserve.
13. The right of a person to be treated on a paying basis by any doctor or hospital willing and able to treat that person shall not be infringed (banning certain undesirable aspects of socialized medicine).
14. A person in existence shall have the right to be born (overturning Roe v. Wade)
15. Citizens of the United States shall have a right to be defended solely by members of its armed services and National Guard, and their duties shall not be devolved to privatized (mercenary) interests domestically or abroad except as Congress may from time to time specifically authorize in cases of presidentially-declared dire emergency.
We need at least fifteen amendments to undo the damage that has been done in this nation. In all probability we need more.